Nationals

Marquez released by Red Bulls and joins Leon

Marquez released by Red Bulls and joins Leon

HARRISON, N.J. (AP) Defender Rafa Marquez was released by the New York Red Bulls on Thursday following 2 1-2 frustrating seasons known more for ejections than success and immediately signed with Leon of the Mexican league.

Marquez, whose $4.6 million salary was the second-highest in Major League Soccer behind teammate Thierry Henry's $5.6 million, will play for a Mexican team for the first time since 1999, when he left Atlas to play for Monaco in the French league.

The Red Bulls said his release was by mutual agreement. Mexico's captain at the 2010 World Cup, Marquez signed with New York as a high-priced designated player from Barcelona in August 2010 after losing his starting role in central defense to Gerard Pique.

Marquez had one goal and nine assists in 44 regular-season games, playing in just 15 matches this year. He started in six playoff games in his career with the team and was ejected from two of them.

He also was suspended by the Red Bulls for a game in September 2011 after criticizing teammates.

``This decision has been made in the best interests of both parties concerned,'' new Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said. ``Rafa has accomplished a great deal during his career and is a top quality player. We want to thank him for his service to the Red Bulls and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of his career.''

Leon, a five time Mexican champion, spent 10 years in the second division until last summer when it returned to Mexico*s top level. Carlos Slim owns 30 percent of the team along with broadcasting rights.

``I*m sure our fans will give Rafael Marquez a great welcome as the new member of our team,'' Leon club president Jesus Martinez said.

Quick Links

Nationals sign Jake Boone, who could be MLB's first fourth-generation player

Nationals sign Jake Boone, who could be MLB's first fourth-generation player

The first fourth-generation MLB player could make his career in Washington after Jake Boone—the son, nephew, grandson and great-grandson of former players—signed with the Nationals on Saturday as an undrafted free agent.

Boone’s father, Bret, played in the majors from 1992 to 2005. His uncle, Aaron, played from 1997 to 2009 and currently manages the New York Yankees. Bret and Aaron’s father Bob and grandfather Ray played for 18 and 12 years, respectively. Ray started the family dynasty in 1948, when he made his MLB debut as a shortstop for the Cleveland Indians.

Jake, a shortstop himself, was originally selected by the Nationals in the 38th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. He instead elected to honor his commitment to Princeton, where he played a total of 72 games and hit .250 with one home run and 24 RBIs. Bob, who is 72 years old, is a vice president of player development for the Nationals and senior advisor to GM Mike Rizzo.

With the 2020 MLB Draft being shortened to five rounds as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Jake didn’t have the chance to find out if he improved his draft stock enough to earn a higher selection. But after the rules were amended to allow for an increased number of undrafted signees, he will have the opportunity to follow in his family’s footsteps and get a Boone back on a major-league roster for the first time since Aaron retired in 2009.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Rui Hachimura has had an impressive rookie season, even if there were some struggles along the way. But, was his first NBA campaign impressive enough to land an NBA All-Rookie First Team nod?

According to NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh, the answer is a clear yes.

“He does, in my book he’s first-team all-rookie," Haberstroh said Sunday on NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Pregame Live.

RELATED: BEAL THINKS RUI WILL BE SF LONG TERM

Haberstroh understands that Hachimura may not get the same attention as other big-name rookies such as Zion Williamson or Ja Morant, but that shouldn't take away from his body of work. Though there were some tough showings at points during the campaign, which is to be expected, Hachimura established himself as a solid scorer. 

Yet, what is more impressive to Haberstroh than the 13.4 points per game as a rookie is how Hachimura kept that scoring total despite Washington's situation. The forward was thrown right into the middle of a young roster and asked to create shots. The analyst also noted that Hachimura started playing the sport of basketball at a much later age than other rookies and he's still competing at the same level.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

Hachimura also didn't have the luxury of John Wall, a point guard who could've helped him find more shot opportunities. For times throughout the season, he was asked to be one of "the guys" in Washington, which is no easy task for a rookie. When looking at what he did and who he did it with, Haberstroh thinks the All-Rookie honor makes sense. 

“The minutes that he played, the consistency from a scoring standpoint and the fact that he didn’t have a true playmaker to work with, John Wall out for the season," Haberstroh said. “It’s really been an impressive year for Rui Hachimura and I think he’s done a very, very good job considering the environment that seemed like guys were dropping left and right.”

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: